35. Franz Tost

Age 65
Occupation Team Principal, Scuderia AlphaTauri
Nationality Austrian
Position Last Year 39

Franz Tost had a big hero as a young lad – a fellow countryman Jochen Rindt: his bedroom walls were covered with posters of the Austrian ace and when it was dissertation time at school, Franz’s classmates would all groan, as they knew what was coming – another bloody eulogy to Rindt.

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Inevitably, Tost found himself behind the wheel, racing a Formula Ford. He was quick enough to win the 1983 Austrian FF Championship, but he felt he would not make it to the top as a driver so a degree in Sports Management from Innsbruck University was next on the agenda. This led to a job at the Walter Lechner Racing School at the Zeltweg circuit.

From there,  Franz Tost moved to a team management role with EUFRA Racing and at the end of 1993, he was taken on as team manager to Willi Weber’s Formula 3 team. It was here that he first crossed paths with Ralf Schumacher and Weber asked Tost to accompany the youngster to Japan. The relationship continued when Ralf stepped up to Formula 1, driving for Jordan and then Williams.

That, in turn, led to Tost being appointed Operations Manager with BMW’s Formula 1 programme. Then in 2005, he was appointed Team Principal with the newly formed Scuderia Toro Rosso.

Following the 2007 European Grand Prix, at the Nürburgring in Germany, it was alleged that Tost assaulted driver Scott Speed over an incident on the track. After Tost later denied the incident, Speed went to the press describing the acrimonious situation at the team, stating that “after coming out and denying this stuff, it’s just another very dishonest thing that Franz or Gerhard have said in the media to damage me and Tonio”. Speed also stated that he did not want to race for Tost and Berger again.

Franz Tost retained the role of team principal when Toro Rosso was re-christened as AlphaTauri at the beginning of the 2020 season.

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